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Town of Orangetown v. Magee

New York Court of Appeals
665 N.E.2d 1061 (1996)


Bradley Industrial Park, owned by John and Patrick Magee (defendants), purchased land in the Town of Orangetown (plaintiff) in order to construct a $3-million industrial building. The town’s building inspector approved the building plans and issued a permit for the construction in 1980. After the Magees commenced preparation for construction, including the erection of a temporary structure for use during building, community members began to demonstrate strong opposition to the plans. As a result, the building inspector revoked the building permit. The town thereafter amended its zoning code to prohibit construction of any commercial buildings and brought suit against the Magees to force removal of the temporary structure that had already been built on the land. The Magees counterclaimed for reinstatement of the permit and for damages totaling more than $5 million, claiming that the town’s actions constituted an unconstitutional taking. The trial court found that the town’s motivation for revoking the permit was entirely political, and dismissed the complaint. The court entered judgment in favor of the Magees, concluding that they had spent more than $4 million on the construction project before the town revoked the permit.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Simons, J.)

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